There is no doubt that Ohio is facing the largest public health crisis of this century. Connie has a 3-pronged plan that’s both vigilant and compassionate in tackling this public health epidemic:
- Prevention – the first line of prevention against the scourge of addiction is to have a good job and a thriving economy. Research shows that unemployment and opioid use are directly related. Prevention also must include effective education that raises awareness and teaches doctors, teachers, families, and community leaders how to speak about abuse.Prevention also must include effective education that raises awareness and teaches doctors, teachers, families, and community leaders how to speak about abuse.
- Treatment – we must treat addicts as patients seeking help, not as criminals. Connie supports increasing state funds for recovery programs for any Ohioan who wants to get clean. But successful treatment must also recognize that it doesn’t always work the first time. A key step in effective treatment is to make sure there is a support system in place after rehabilitation. We must bolster family support structures and fund critical programs like children’s services and mentorship programs to give the children and relatives of addicts the chance to live clean, healthy lives. Additionally, we must protect the flow of Medicaid and Medicaid expansion dollars at all costs to help fund critical treatment programs.
- Enforcement – Connie knows that throwing patients in jail won’t fix this crisis. However, we must have enforcement mechanisms in place to crack down on dealers, illicit “pill mills,” and drug companies that violate the public’s trust — so that we can finally get these drugs off the street. In order to fund enforcement measures, Connie supports reversing the Kasich Administration’s reckless cuts to local police, EMTs, and hospitals.